Hello WWE fans, today we will look at the results of recent WWE shows, Shinsuke Nakamura losing the WWE Intercontinental Championship, Finn Balor back on WWE-TV, RAW/NXT crossovers, The Undertaker going into the WWE Hall of Fame, John Bradshaw Layfield giving high praise to The Undertaker, Seth Rollins at WrestleMania, Booker T’s prediction regarding the next top singles champion, AJ Styles re-signing with WWE, and Santos Escobar’s comments regarding the retiring of the WWE NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
WWE Friday Night SmackDown
2/18/2022 (taped 2/11/2022)
Ricochet defeated Sheamus (w/ Ridge Holland)
Ivar (w/ Erik) defeated Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso) via disqualification
Sami Zayn defeated WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
Hopefully, Shinsuke Nakamura will regain the WWE Intercontinental Champion in the near future and be given an impressive title run. His August 2021 – February 2022 run as Champion was not utilized much. Nakamura defended his championship 15 times, and only 3 of those defenses were televised. He has the talent and popularity to increase the value of the championship, but he needs a decent opportunity to do it.
WWE Elimination Chamber 2022
Rey Mysterio (w/ Dominik Mysterio) defeated The Miz
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns (w/ Paul Heyman) defeated Goldberg via referee’s decision
Bianca Belair defeated Alexa Bliss, Doudrop, Liv Morgan, Nikki ASH, and Rhea Ripley in a, “WWE RAW Women’s Title #1 Contendership Elimination Chamber” match
Naomi & Ronda Rousey defeated Charlotte Flair & Sonya Deville
Drew McIntyre defeated Madcap Moss (w/ Happy Corbin) in a “Falls Count Anywhere” match
WWE RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch defeated Lita
Brock Lesnar defeated WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Riddle, and Seth Rollins in an “Elimination Chamber” match to become the new WWE Champion.
Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) defeated The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford)
Finn Balor & Tommaso Ciampa defeated The Dirty Dawgs (Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode)
Rhea Ripley defeated Nikki ASH
Damian Priest defeated Shelton Benjamin (w/ Cedric Alexander)
Bianca Belair defeated Doudrop
Kevin Owens & Seth Rollins defeated RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) in a “WWE RAW Tag Team Title #1 Contendership” match
It’s great to see Finn Balor back on WWE-TV. I’m sure that his teaming with Tommaso Ciampa is not a long-term situation, which would mean that Balor is still available for something long-term. Bobby Lashley will need someone to wrestle with when he returns from his injury, and Balor would be an excellent choice.
WWE NXT 2.0
Grayson Waller (w/ Sanga) defeated LA Knight
Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray defeated Amari Miller & Lash Legend in a “Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2022 First Round” match
Duke Hudson defeated Dante Chen
Cameron Grimes defeated Trick Williams (w/ Carmelo Hayes)
Nikita Lyons defeated Kayla Inlay
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter defeated Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley in a “Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2022 First Round” match:
Dolph Ziggler defeated Tommaso Ciampa in a “WWE NXT Title #1 Contendership” match
There are reports that Dolph Ziggler is only the latest of many RAW talents who will be crossing over into NXT. While I think it’s more important for NXT to be able to present an appealing product without having to rely on outside help, I think RAW talent crossing over is beneficial in terms of a temporary boost in viewership and giving NXT talent an opportunity to work with more experienced talent from RAW. This will help the NXT talents grow as wrestlers.
I think another way that this crossover should be used is by utilizing the experienced talent this is in NXT and sending them to RAW. Two perfect examples are Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray. They are two of the best wrestlers on the NXT women’s roster, and I recently showed how Shirai affects viewership numbers. They could put Shirai in a program with Alexa Bliss, and Lee Ray in a program with Rhea Ripley, and show the RAW audience what the two NXT talents can do. And if the RAW fans want to see more? They would have to tune in to NXT.
I’m very pleased that The Undertaker is finally going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and that it’s going to happen in front of his family and friends in his home state of Texas. The Undertaker is the greatest wrestler of all time, and with the contributions that he has made to the pro-wrestling industry as well as the sacrifices that The Undertaker has made for it, his presence in the industry is irreplaceable.
— Undertaker (@undertaker) February 19, 2022
John Bradshaw Layfield had high praise for The Undertaker on a recent episode of the Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw podcast. These days, it’s unfortunately common to hear negative stories about legends of the ring that tarnish their legacies. When it comes to The Undertaker, the only stories about him that are ever told are ones that strengthen his legacy.
With Seth Rollins taunting Roman Reigns on Twitter, he clearly is interested in having a rematch with the WWE Universal Champion. But with Reigns already scheduled to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, Rollins may have to wait a while. So for WrestleMania, he should team with Kevin Owens and go against Alpha Academy. There are reports that WWE is hoping for a Steve Austin vs. Kevin Owens match at WrestleMania, but that match would be beneficial only short-term. Austin will not be active after WrestleMania, but Rollins, Owens, and Alpha Academy will be.
During a recent episode of Hall of Fame, host Booker T named AJ Styles as one of the wrestlers likely to defeat the WWE top singles champion, whether that person is Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns after their champion vs. champion match at WrestleMania 38. I agree, and I feel that Styles has earned it. Winning a title shot opportunity did not happen for him at the Royal Rumble in January, and Styles did not leave the Elimination Chamber as champion this month. He is one of the best wrestlers in the industry today and Styles has a large fan base behind him, so I expect that before the end of this year, Styles will have another run as champion.
Speaking of AJ Styles, smart move by WWE in re-signing him recently. Styles is the best wrestler on their roster and worth every dollar.
In a recent interview, Santos Escobar discussed the retiring of the WWE NXT Cruiserweight Championship and the subsequent merging of the Cruiserweight division with the rest of NXT, stating, “And now, as opposed to having just the Cruiserweight Division, as you can see, the NXT 2.0 roster is rich in not just cruiserweights, but heavyweights. So as opposed to secluding them in one division, I think it was the right thing to do. To just have an even more open range with the North American Title and have everyone just fight and go.” I agree with Santo Esobar’s comments. There was a time when wrestling was dominated by heavyweights. But today, there are cruiserweights who are just as good or better.
Merging the Cruiserweight division with the rest of NXT goes along with the replacing of, “205 Live” with, “NXT: Level Up“. A show spotlighting the cruiserweights was a great idea, but if there is no longer a title for cruiserweights to compete for, there is less reason to have a separate show/division for them. The only problem is, “NXT: Level Up” will suffer the same lack of exposure that, “205 Live” did, being that it won’t be televised, only shown on WWE Network and Peacock. Even if the show features great matches, the majority of the fans won’t see it. Although this will be fine if, “NXT: Level Up” is used as a show for talent that the company feels is not yet TV-ready as the talents strive to, “level up”.